You have probably heard the term "criminal defense attorney" at some stage throughout the course of your life. If you face criminal charges, effective representation by a criminal defense attorney is essential. Not only during the trial but also during the pre-trial process.
Even if you believe the facts of the case are not in your favor, getting the best possible criminal defense representation could make a difference between prison time and probation, or getting your record damaged with a felony or misdemeanor conviction which can be avoided. If you have been facing criminal charges, before deciding to hire a criminal defense attorney, you may want to know more about what your case and what can be done, we encourage you to call us for a free consultation to obtain the advice you need in order to make an informed decision.
If you've been charged with a crime you'll need to appear in court unless your case is a misdemeanor and an certain situations an attorney can appear for you. The accused is known as the defendant. As the defendant, you and your criminal defense attorney will go over the case and discuss the best possible defense in your matter. Your criminal defense attorney will then discuss your matter with the prosecution to either avoid a filing against you, negotiate or present the best possible defense in your favor.
The prosecution is the party that is trying to prove the charges against the accused. Some criminal defenses attempt to strike down evidence of the prosecutions by demonstrating it to be false. To handle a criminal defense case, you’ll want to work with your criminal defense attorney on your defense strategy.
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives criminal defendants the right to hire a criminal defense attorney. He or she presents a legal defense which is based on the facts and circumstances and which protects the constitutional rights of the defendant. The hiring of the criminal defense attorney is important because their job is to protect you and be on your side, you are entrusting your case and sometimes your freedom to the person you hire and as such the hiring an attorney who cares is of vital importance.
Criminal defense attorneys have several responsibilities. These responsibilities are to be following in court as well as out of court. The role of a criminal defense attorney involves:
1. Speaking to the Client
The primary responsibility of a criminal defense attorney is to discuss the case with their client. This discussion generally happens in person through an interview process. The attorney will ask relevant questions regarding the case to the client. This helps them to obtain important information and to use it to form a defense. The client must respond as truthfully as possible to the questions during this process. If a defense attorney receives information that is incorrect or misleading, he or she will struggle to create a thorough defense.
2. Examining the Case
When it comes to investigating the case, client interviews are only the tip of the iceberg. Defense attorneys are required to conduct extensive investigations. This includes addressing police officers, witnesses, and experts.
On top of this, the defense attorney will also study the prosecution's case. Legally, the prosecution is required to present their case to the defense before the trial begins. This procedure allows the defense to construct a case against the charges.
3. Review Evidence
The defense attorney will turn to the evidence involved in the case after collecting witness and police statements. He or she will scrutinize this evidence thoroughly, trying to figure out how it will affect the trial and jurors' perceptions.
In some cases, he or she will have this evidence tested by an independent entity to determine if it can help or harm the case of the defendant.
4. Engage in the Process of Plea Bargaining
In certain circumstances, prosecutors will issue a lenient sentence to defendants in exchange for their cooperation or admission of guilt. This deal often leads to less jail time, fewer fines and similarly reduced sentences. However, this option is not a good option on every case, especially if the accused is innocent or the prosecution lacks the evidence to prosecute the case, in this instance the case should either be dismissed or go to trial. We strive to always do our best for each and every client and the client will be advised as to the best possible option for them.
5. Representation in Court
Once the trial of the defendant begins, his or her attorney will act as their representation. That includes arguing on behalf of the defendant and acting in the courtroom as his or her legal voice.
Criminal defense lawyers will hear testimonies while in court, speak with jurors, and cross-examine witnesses and experts. An attorney who is an experienced litigator and trial attorney is critical.
The importance of having a professional criminal defense attorney is the expertise they offer. The first aim after an arrest is to get out of prison pending trial. Hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you at your bail hearing shows the court that you are taking the charges and the trial seriously. An attorney can provide the court with evidence that you are not a danger to the community or likely to flee and avoid trial.
From the beginning of the ordeal to the end a criminal defense attorney will assist. Experienced lawyers also bring their knowledge about the people involved in the criminal justice system and the court proceedings. An experienced lawyer will take immediate action and mitigate the associated risks and consequences.
The Deputy District Attorney handling the matter will generally convey an offer at the beginning of a case, if the Criminal Defense Attorney is not a litigator or has no trial experience generally they will not know what a case is worth, whether it is a good or bad offer. It is only by taking a case to trial that an Attorney knows what a judge will typically give as a sentence after trial and in turn will know whether the offer the DA is providing is fair for the client or not.
Additionally, Criminal Defense Attorneys establish reputations in court, if a Criminal Defense Attorney is known as a litigator, generally the offers reflect that experience because courts will want to resolve the matters earlier by providing a better offer rather then wasting court time and resources by fighting a matter only to obtain the same sentence after trial.
Criminal Defense Attorneys with litigation skills will also know the ins and outs of a case and will find other alternatives in lieu of trial, such as motions to dismiss prior to trial, DUI or mental health court, or out of custody rehabilitation programs that can help the client as well as help the case.
If you are facing any criminal charges or have been arrested, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney from this point forward to ensure that justice is upheld and you get the best possible outcome for your case.